Photonics business roundup: August 2022

Sept. 1, 2022
Let’s recap all the business announcements in photonics from August 2022.

Acquisitions/mergers

On August 3rd, Lumentum completed its acquisition of NeoPhotonics (both in San Jose, CA). With the transaction, Lumentum anticipates achieving more than an estimated $50 million in annual run-rate synergies within 24 months of its closing. And, due to its timing, there is no impact to Lumentum's fourth quarter for fiscal-year 2022.

In more acquisition news for Lumentum, the company has acquired IPG Photonics' (Oxford, MA) telecom transmission product lines in an all-cash transaction. According to Beck Mason, senior vice president and general manager, telecom transmission at Lumentum, explains that the acquisition includes a team developing digital communications ASICs, including coherent DSPs, which complements Lumentum's silicon and indium phosphide photonic integrated circuit capabilities and creates opportunities for increased vertical integration in future optical transmission modules.

Following the unconditional merger approval from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation in July for MKS Instruments' (Andover, MA) pending acquisition of process chemicals technology company Atotech (Berlin, Germany), the Royal Court of Jersey sanctioned the scheme of arrangement to implement the acquisition. All material conditions to the closing of the acquisition have now been satisfied and the closing finalized on August 17th, when the court order sanctioning the scheme of arrangement was delivered to the Registrar of Companies for the Bailiwick of Jersey.

High-power, high-brightness industrial blue laser company NUBURU (Centennial, CO) has entered into a business combination agreement with Tailwind Acquisition Corp. (Los Angeles, CA); Upon closing, the combined company expects to be traded under the ticker symbol “BURU.” The transaction positions NUBURU to continue its investment in new technology development and to capitalize on future growth by expanding its presence across a wide array of industries, including e-mobility and automotive, energy storage, aerospace, defense, healthcare, and consumer electronics.

Funds advised by Deutsche Private Equity (DPE; Munich, Germany) have acquired a majority stake in precision optics manufacturer Sill Optics (Wendelstein, Germany). The company was previously owned by funds advised by PINOVA Capital (also in Munich) and CEO Christoph Sieber who, along with CFO Benjamin Sauter, will remain invested in Sill Optics alongside DPE.

SVS-Vistek (Gilching, Germany) is acquiring 100% of the shares in Mikrotron (Unterschleissheim, Germany) with retroactive effect from January 1st. The two camera manufacturers belong to the parent company TKH Vision and offer their customers new synergies through the merger with a focus on cameras with high speed and high resolution.

Facility expansions

Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) is expanding manufacturing capacity for optical cable, based on a long-term relationship with AT&T, as the carrier expands its fiber service. Corning will build a new cable manufacturing facility in Gilbert, AZ, located in the Greater Phoenix region, adding approximately 250 jobs and extending Corning's strategic investments in optical fiber, cable, and connectivity solutions to meet record demand. The Arizona facility, expected to open in 2024, will be the industry’s western-most U.S. manufacturing site for optical cable, allowing Corning to serve growing demand in the western U.S. and Canada.

In response to growing need for its motion control products, PI (Physik Instrumente; Auburn, MA) is continuing to expand its production facilities at multiple locations around the world. The most recent addition was a new building at PI’s Karlsruhe, Germany location, allowing for an extension of the existing production area by another 11,000 sq. ft.

Lots happening at II-VI

In August, several news announcements came from II-VI Incorporated (Pittsburgh, PA), an engineered materials and optoelectronic devices manufacturer:

  • It closed an over $100 million contract to supply Dongguan Tianyu Semiconductor Technology (Dongguan, China), a silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafer manufacturer, with 150 mm SiC substrates to be delivered through the end of calendar year 2023. The two companies will provide the high-quality and reliable supply chain and future 200 mm capability that will be critical to support the rapidly growing demand for SiC power electronics in electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy, smart grids, microgrids, and power supplies for data networks.
  • It also closed a multi-year contract to supply semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG (Neubiberg, Germany) with 150 mm SiC substrates for power electronics, again meeting the skyrocketing growth of the EV market. The two will also collaborate in the transition to 200 mm SiC substrates.
  • The company's Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of its Human Capital and Compensation Committee, has agreed to extend Vincent D. “Chuck” Mattera, Jr.’s contract as CEO until August 1, 2030. Mattera has served the company in executive-level roles since 2004, assuming the role of CEO in 2016. He was named chair and CEO in November 2021.
  • Its fourth-quarter revenue for fiscal-year 2022 was $887 million, an increase of 7% over the third quarter of 2022 and an increase of 10% over the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2021, over the top end of the company’s guidance.
  • On September 8th, the company will transition to its new name, Coherent Corp., launch its new brand, and begin trading with a new ticker symbol (Nasdaq: COHR), according to Mattera.

Orders, revenue news

LightPath Technologies (Orlando, FL), which manufactures and integrates optical and infrared components and high-level assemblies, has reached a record backlog in August of $24.0 million, which surpassed the $23.8 million backlog in December 2020.

Thanks to strong demand for high-precision optics and optical systems from the astronomy, fundamental physics, and defense markets, Optical Surfaces (Kenley, U.K.) has exceeded its annual sales target after the first seven months of 2022. This follows a 20% growth in sales achieved in the previous two years.

Bay Photonics (Paignton, U.K.), an advanced photonics assembly, and packaging company, has taken delivery of a Palomar 9000 wedge bonder from Palomar Technologies (Carlsbad, CA) as a requirement for meeting the demands for wedge-to-wedge bonding by its customers. Bay Photonics will initially use the 9000 wedge bonder for several advanced photonics applications, including secure space communications technologies, along with nuclear power station solutions. Wedge bonding enables bonding with a large variety of wire and ribbon materials, such as gold and aluminum enabling thermosonic and ambient processes, which makes wedge bonding an ideal bonding choice for high-mix environments.

Veeco Instruments (Plainview, NY) has received an order from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State; State College, PA) for its GENxplor R&D molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system, which is used to enable the epitaxial growth of high-quality materials for III-V compound semiconductors for applications including lasers and next-generation infrared plasmonic metamaterials.

Partnerships

Optical instrumentation distributor Axiom Optics (Somerville, MA) has entered a new partnership with GoyaLab (Talence, France), which designs and develops measurement tools for compact spectrometry uses, including chemical analysis involving absorption, fluorescence, and reflection; gemology and jewelry; lighting and filter characterization and identification; traceability and authentication; and education and research. Axiom Optics currently distributes four of GoyaLab's spectrometers.

BitFlow (Woburn, MA) has expanded its international distributor network by signing MaVis Imaging (Taufkirchen, Germany) to represent its portfolio of frame grabbers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal through MaVis' integrated supply chain and customer-centric sales force.

LightPath Technologies entered a $4 million supply agreement for precision molded optics with a long-time European customer of precision motion control systems and OEM assemblies. The new supply agreement will go into effect in the second half of fiscal-year 2023 and is expected to run for around 12-18 months.

QLM Technology (Cardiff, U.K.) has closed a Series-A funding round and signed a collaboration agreement with Schlumberger (Houston, TX). With support from Innovate UK, QLM has developed a new type of LiDAR camera based on quantum technology that can see and accurately quantify greenhouse gas emissions. A related version of the product enables remote quantification of flare efficiency. Through the strategic collaboration, QLM’s technology will be part of the new Schlumberger End-to-end Emissions Solutions (SEES) business offering for the oil and gas industry.

People moves

Fiber laser maker AdValue Photonics (Tucson, AZ) has named Michael Mielke as CEO; Shibin Jiang, company founder and CEO since 2007, will remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mielke brings more than 16 years of senior management experience in the photonics industry to his new role; he most recently served as vice president of engineering at Headwall Photonics (Bolton, MA), a spectral imaging components and systems provider that was acquired by Arsenal Capital Partners in January 2022.

Optical and imaging components maker Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has appointed Samuel Sadoulet as CEO, succeeding Robert Edmund who retired recently. Sadoulet brings 25 years of management and engineering experience at the company, having most recently served as president and COO.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (Bellingham, WA), has welcomed 77 new Senior Members from 22 countries. Each new member comes from academia, government, and industry, working across a variety of disciplines that range from nanophotonics, biomedical photonics, Raman spectroscopy instrumentation, medical imaging, machine learning, infrared imaging, and optical devices, to optical fabrication, astronomical optics, and lithography.

Industrial lasers manufacturer TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) has made two executive leadership appointments:

  • It has appointed Bettina Steingruber to serve as CFO, a position previously held by Lutz Labisch, who became the company's president and CEO on March 1st. Steingruber will be responsible for overseeing the finance and controlling, IT infrastructure and business systems, customer contracts and collections, customer financing, logistics and customs, and shared services departments for the company's subsidiaries in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
  • It has promoted Burke Doar to executive vice president. He joined TRUMPF in 2002 as vice president of customer services, was promoted to vice president, sales and marketing in 2003, and named as senior vice president in 2014
About the Author

Lee Dubay | Managing Editor

Lee Dubay is a seasoned editor and digital content manager with 20 years of experience in technology B2B media. She specializes in digital content management, as well as website analytics, SEO, and social media engagement best practices. 

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